A wallpaper that holds brick walls together during an earthquake
A wallpaper that holds brick walls together during an earthquake has been welcomed as a major scientific breakthrough by Christchurch quake experts.
The ‘earthquake wallpaper’ has been developed by German scientists to keep bricks and masonry from falling during violent shaking, giving people time to run to safety.
Falling rubble and debris caused many of the 185 deaths in the February 22, 2011 earthquake as buildings failed to stand up in the magnitude-6.3 disaster.
The failure of unreinforced masonry buildings has been a focus of several hearings by the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission.
But now, engineers in New Zealand have welcomed the high-tech adhesive and glass fibre fabric which could save lives in any future shakes.
Professor Lothar Stempniewski, of the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology and who developed the technology for Bayer MaterialScience, said the wallpaper made walls more elastic and resistant to cracking.
He said: “Our goal was to give people more time to get out safely into the open in the event of an earthquake.
“Even smaller earthquakes can cause dramatic damage, especially to masonry buildings.
“The degree of destruction depends less on the severity of the earthquake on the Richter scale than on how long the structures are shaken by the destructive energy from below the ground.”
The special wallpaper design, which features fibres running in four directions, distributes energy evenly when walls are shaking, making them elastic and resistant to cracking.
The seismic material was tested on a replica house in an earthquake simulator.
“Because of the earthquake wallpaper, we were unable to make the building collapse,” researcher Mortiz Urban said.
via NZHerald – Kurt Bayer ᔥ
Bookmark this page for “Earthquake wallpaper” and check back regularly as these articles update on a very frequent basis. The view is set to “news”. Try clicking on “video” and “2” for more articles.